Southport Column: Mitchell & Co., Climate Action Team and more

Sat, 05/25/2024 - 8:30am

Although I mentioned Memorial Day in last week’s column in connection with more banners being hung, I completely forgot to mention the parade. If this column comes to your eyes in time, a reminder that, as usual, a Memorial Day parade will begin at the Southport Memorial Library in Newagen at 8:30 a.m. and at the town center in front of the Southport General Store at 9:30 a.m. Flags are waving in the breeze on the
veterans’ graves in all our cemeteries on the island. Thanks to whomever did all that work.

Last week I wrote that the Southport Bridge would soon be opening for boat traffic on the hour and half hour as soon as the workmen could fix some electrical problems. As of this writing, Friday afternoon, the problems have not been solved, nor does there seem to be much work going on the solve them. The ‘channel closed’ signs still float on the water on either side of the bridge. As noted before, for those of us on land that is just as well as that means our delays crossing the bridge are shorter.

Saturday, June 1, Mitchell & Co., a studio and shop stewarded by Morgan Mitchell in Boothbay, will be re-opening its doors for the second season and launching a new collection of work. Stop by from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to review and purchase the new designs by Morgan and photography by her father, Robert Mitchell. From 5 to 7 p.m. at Harbor Treats you can join Morgan and friends for a “Garden Party” celebration featuring live piano by Kevin Kiley and sweets by Tugba. All are welcome, dress to express! Mitchell & Co. is located in the old firehouse building at the Boothbay center: 1038 Wiscasset Road.

Thursday, June 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Southport Memorial Library, Jerry Farnham will discuss his debut novel, “Red at Night.” The story takes place on the coast of Maine with a mix of summer and local people. The major character, Jack, is a hard-working local, and Melissa, a celebrity actress and singer who comes to Boothbay Harbor to escape the Hollywood press. The tale focuses on these two characters of totally different backgrounds and what happens when they get together, a story of mystery, suspense, and romance. The author grew up in Boothbay Harbor where he worked on a lobster boat with his father. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he worked as a boat diesel engine mechanic for many years. Jerry currently lives in southern Maine with wife, son, and daughter. Refreshments provided.

Last Thursday morning at the Southport Memorial Library the “Southport Blooming Babes” met with members of the Climate Action Team, Smith Climo, Claire Tomlin, Kathy Jacobs and Ella Long, for an update as to how their work was going. Two major priorities are to put together a communications plan to alert and help all island residences when there is a major climate problem and to do a vulnerability analysis with discernment of actions we could take that would have a positive affect to protect property and life on the island. Applications have been made for various grants from the state and federal government to pay for specific actions to mitigate the effects of climate change. Much discussion and the sharing of pictures focused on the two destructive January storms. Kathy Jacobs, who is involved professionally in the mitigation of climate change, noted that the seas have already risen in Maine eight inches, and we have warmer water that is reducing the lobster and shrimp catch. Shri Verrill, who has been hired by the town as a climate resilience consultant, was not available to attend Thursday session, but is working with the committee to apply for grants and finalize plans.

Also at the library last Thursday morning delicious cake, the birthday song, and many good wishes were offered to Russ Jackson, who was celebrating his birthday among many friends gathered around the table. Even those at the climate action meeting were offered some cake.

Please welcome the five international students who will be arriving in early June to work at the Southport General Store. The store, when I stopped by on Thursday, had many new foods, such as breads, dinners to take home, baked goods and sandwiches. The summer hours are now in place, so the store is open from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday - Friday and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays.

Look for an article elsewhere in this paper about the new teaching principal at the Southport Central School, Shawn Gallagher. Shawn had previously taught grades four through six at the school so he is well known The current principal, Lisa Clarke, will stay on part time to work with him this first year.

News from the Southport Town Hall is that June 11 is the state primary voting for political parties’ nomination of candidates for federal, state, and county offices. Absentee ballots are currently available. Note that the town offices will be closed this coming Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.

You can still buy tickets for the Southport Island Association’s MusicFests by going to The concerts will be June 26, July 17, and Aug. 14 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Also remember the Southport Central School children’s spring concert at the Southport Town Hall June 5 beginning at 6 p.m.

Summer friends continue to return. Clark and Louise Phippen are on Pratts Island in the family home for the month of June. I hear that Denis and Callie McWhan are in their home on Pratts Island road, not sure for how long.